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DPP v Withers [1975]


  • Withers used deception to obtain financial details, and was convicted of the offence of ‘conspiracy to cause public mischief’


  • Could this offence be created by judges?


  • No, conviction quashed


  • Judges should not attempt to fill the gaps in criminal law left by Parliament
  • Lord Diplock said that it would lead to “injustice if it takes days of legal argument and historical research on appeal to your Lordships’ House to discover whether any crime has been committed even though the facts are undisputed”
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